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CVS, Walmart make list of 50 Most Innovative Companies

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NEW YORK — CVS Health and Walmart have been named to the 2018 Fast Company 50 Most Innovative Companies list.

On this year’s 50 Most Innovative Companies listing, CVS finished in the top 10, coming in at No. 7 for “cleaning up the aisles,” Fast Company said. CVS had last made the list in 2016, ranking No. 3 for “becoming a one-stop health shop,” the business publication said.

“CVS is looking to grow its customer base with extra services that explode traditional expectations,” Fast Company said in its 2018 Most Innovative Companies profile of CVS. “The chain also added healthier food choices, including fresh fruit and organic brands, in its aisles. The company banned tobacco products from its stores in late 2014 and even introduced its own smoking cessation program.”

Fast Company also cited CVS’ Digital Innovation Lab; planned merger with health insurer Aetna; expansion of its MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics; rollout of in-store optical and hearing services; partnership with IBM to use its Watson artificial intelligence system to predict when patients with chronic conditions need care interventions; and effort to remove parabens, phthalates and other substances of questionable safety from store-brand personal care products.

“CVS Health is honored to be included by Fast Company on their 50 Most Innovative Companies list and as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Health,” Larry Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Health, said in a statement on Tuesday. “As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to finding new ways of delivering on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health, and I am very proud that our enterprise achievements are being recognized.”

Walmart ranked No. 15 on the 2018 Fast Company 50 Most Innovative Companies list for “embracing its inner underdog,” Fast Company said. The retail giant had last made the list in 2010, coming in at No. 9.

Fast Company noted in its 2018 Most Innovative Companies profile of Walmart that while the retail behemoth dominates brick-and-mortar retailing, it has also “flexed its muscle in the digital retail space, making significant investments in e-commerce services, fulfillment centers and technology initiatives” that have enabled the company to rapidly become a leading force in online retailing.

“In 2016, Walmart acquired Jet.com, a fast-growing Amazon competitor, for $3 billion. It marked the beginning of an M&A spree (resulting in purchases of everything from Shoebuy.com to Moosejaw to Bonobos and Modcloth to Parcel), further building out Walmart’s reach in footwear, outdoor gear, private-label fashion and same-day delivery services,” Fast Company wrote.

The 50 Most Innovative Companies (MIC) were curated from Fast Company’s Top 10 lists, which recognize companies across 36 categories, from artificial intelligence to wellness. More than three dozen Fast Company editors, reporters and contributors surveyed thousands of companies to create the lists.

“This year’s MIC list is an inspiring and insightful window into how many companies have embraced innovation and are working to make meaningful change,” commented Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with senior editor Amy Farley.


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